Concerning this yirah tattaah ("lower fear"), which is directed toward the fulfillment of His commandments, in both areas of "Depart from evil and do good," it was said, "Where there is no fear [of G‑d], there is no wisdom." It comprises a quality of "smallness" and a quality of "greatness." The latter being the quality of fear that has its origin in contemplation on the greatness of G‑d— that He fills all worlds, and from the earth to the heavens is a distance of 500 years,... and the distance from one heaven to the next,... the feet of the "Chayyot" measure up to them all,... and similarly on the evolvement of all the worlds, one above the other to the topmost heights— nevertheless this fear is called an "external" and "inferior" fear, because it is derived from the worlds which are "garments" of the King, the Holy One, blessed be He, Who conceals and hides and clothes Himself in them, to animate them and give them existence, that they may exist ex nihilo,.. . yet [this fear] is the gate and entrance to the fulfillment of the Torah and commandments.

As for the yirah ilaah ("higher fear"), however, a fear stemming from a sense of shame, an inner fear that derives from the inward aspects of G‑dliness within the worlds, it was said concerning it that "Where there is no wisdom, there is no fear," for חכמה is [made up of the letters] כ"ח מ"ה , and "Chochmah comes from ayin" (Nothing), and "Who is wise? He who sees that which is born." That is to say, he sees how everything originates and comes into being ex nihilo by means of the word of G‑d and the breath of His blessed mouth. As is written: "And all their host by the breath of His mouth." Therefore, the heavens and the earth and all their host are truly nullified in reality, within the word of G‑d and the breath of His mouth, and are accounted as nothing at all, as nought and nothingness indeed, just as the light and brightness of the sun are nullified within the body of the sun itself. And let not man regard himself as an exception to this principle, for also his body and nefesh and ruach and neshamah are nullified in reality in the word of G‑d, Whose blessed word is united with His thought,... as has been explained above at length (chs. 20 and 21), taking as an example the human soul, one utterance of whose speech and thought are veritably as nothing.... This is what is meant by the verse: 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom."

However, one cannot attain to this fear and wisdom except in the fulfillment of the Torah and commandments through the lower, external fear. And this is what is meant by the statement: "Where there is no fear, there is no wisdom."

Now, in love, too, there are two grades — ahavah rabbah ("great love") and ahavat olam ("eternal love"). "Great love" is an ecstatic love, and it is "A fiery flame that rises of itself." It comes from above in a manner of a "gift" to him who is perfect in fear, as is known from the saying of the Rabbis, of blessed memory: "The way of a man is to search for a woman." For love is called "man" or "male," as is written: "He hath remembered His loving kindness"; whilst a woman [symbolises] "fear of G‑d," as is known. Without the prerequisite of fear, it is impossible to attain to this "great love," for this love originates from the realm of Atzilut, wherein are ho sundering or separateness, G‑d forbid.

Ahavat olam, however, is that which comes from the understanding and knowledge of the greatness of G‑d, the blessed En Sof, Who fills all worlds and encompasses all worlds and before Whom everything is accounted as nothing at all, like the nullity of one utterance within the intelligent soul while it still remains in its thought or in the desire of the heart, as has been explained earlier. For as a result of such contemplation, the attribute of love that is in the soul will be divested of its garments, i.e., it will not clothe itself in anything of pleasure or enjoyment, whether physical or spiritual, to love it, and will not desire anything whatever in the world other than G‑d alone, the Source of the vitality of all enjoyments, for they are all nullified in reality and are accounted as nothing at all, compared with Him, there being no manner of comparison or similitude between them, G‑d forbid, just as there is no comparison between that which is absolutely nought and nothing— and everlasting life. As is written: "Whom have I in heaven [but Thee]? And there is nothing upon earth that I desire with Thee. My flesh and my heart yearn, O Rock of my heart... ," And as will be explained later.

Also he, whose soul's quality of love is not clothed at all in any physical or spiritual enjoyment, is able to kindle his soul as with burning coals and an intense fire and a flame that strives heavenwards through the contemplation referred to above, as will be enlarged upon later.

This quality of love sometimes precedes fear, according to the quality of the da'at which fathers it, as is known. (For da'at incorporates both chasadim and gevurot, which are love and fear; and sometimes the chasadim descend and manifest themselves first.) Therefore it is possible for a wicked and a sinful person to repent by virtue of the love that is born in his heart at the time he remembers the Lord his G‑d. At any rate, fear, too, is included therein [in the love], as a matter of course, except that it is in a stage of "minuteness" and "concealment," namely, the fear of sin, of rebelling against Him, G‑d forbid, while the love is in a revealed state in his heart and mind. However, such a case is but an accidental and spontaneous occurrence, or an "emergency prescription" through G‑d's particular providence as the occasion requires, as happened with Rabbi Eliezer ben Durdaya.

However, the order of service, which is determined by and depends on man's choice, is to begin with the fulfillment of the Torah and commandments through the "lower" fear in its state of "minuteness" at least, to depart from evil and do good, so as to illuminate his divine soul with the light of the Torah and its commandments, whereupon the light of love will also shine forth upon it (for the word ואהבת— "And thou shalt love"— has a numerical value twice that of אור— "light"— as is known to those who are familiar with the Esoteric Discipline).